Thursday, June 1, 2017


Hello Songwriter, 
    Our booth was a success at the Dallas International Guitar show and Music FestivaMay 5-7. We were able to reach out to many songwriters to let them know about our organization. The 5 stages were full of great music. There were celebrities abound and I got Ted Nugent's autograph. Thanks to Jimmy Wallace for supporting Dallas Songwriters and putting on a great festival and guitar market.

Our Monthly Meeting with guest speaker and song critiques IS NOW THE FIRST THURSDAY at Half Price Books with guest speaker is music publisher Cathy Baldwin. See # 2 below.

Other regular DSA monthly events are the open mics on the 2nd Wednesday, 3rd Thursdays and 1st Mondaythe 3rd Saturday Showcase at Angela's, and the Song Swap on the 3rd Monday.

So sorry if you missed the Susan Gibson (Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces) Workshop. It was wonderful. We had a good turn out, the workshop was inspirational  and Susan's performance was superb. Sons of Hermann Hall is such a great venue for sound. BTW, thanks to Harry Hewlett for running the sound system and Bobby Montgomery for ramrodding the event. A video of the following performance is on our facebook page. See workshops below for the link.

The Wildflower Songwriting Workshop with Joe Crookston will be on May 19. See workshops below. 

DSA hosted the CityLine Stage at the Wildflower Festival for a wonderful 3 day weekend of great weather and suburb music. Thanks to Harry Hewlett and Ian Dickson for a great job as sound and stage managers. DSA members and Wildflower contest finalists performed on the stage. 2017 Al Johnson Performing Singer Songwriter Wildflower Contest Winners are: 
Mike LaureannoRhode Island
; ; 
Tom Meny, Texas
;  Emily Scott Robinson, Texas; 
Heather MaeWashington, D.C. was the Michael Terry Peoples Choice Awards Winner. Al Johnson was celebrated by naming the contest after him.

 Congratulations to Annie Benjamin, the winner of the BW Stevenson Songwriting Contest. details.

DSA Annual Song Contest Now Open. 

July brings our 2nd Annual Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame on the 22nd. Inductees include Songwriters Cindy Walker, Freddy King and Sam The Sham, Musician and cultural icon Trini Lopez and composer/arranger Gus Levene. The No Contact Band with Ian Dickson and guests Barbe McMillen and Michael Brandenberger will be the featured entertainment performing songs by the inductees, as well as, their own songs.

Did you know we are live streaming on Facebook? Thanks to Harry Hewlett you can view some of our open mics and guest speakers in a live stream on Facebook? See guest our guest speakers, and latest Angela's showcase. Can't make it? Then tune into Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.
Next Deadline for the Winter Lyric Contest is March 31st See #5 below.

Thanks to Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, Rio King, Jared LoStratto and Bill Kapac for their contributions to DSA. Just a reminder that we are a non-profit and your tax deductible donations are always welcome. Follow this link to our donation spot on the website.

Spring 2017 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Spring 2016 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Fall 2016 Songwriters Notes Hardcopy pdf version




Enter on DSA website 

Enter on Broadjam 

Now in its 27th year, The DSA 2016 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes. 8 categories.

Enter online at :


GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano
and a Nashville recording session at Beaird Music Group. 
Beaird Music Group

1st Runner Up
 wins studio time at
River Sounds Recording Resort

2nd Runner up
wins recording time at 

Grand Prize winners receive:
($199.95 Value) 
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

Category winners get cash prizes


  Read the Interview with Grand Prize winner Bill Wren


2016 Winners
2016 Semifinalist
Winner of the Drawing for the IPod -  Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA  His entry, This Love, #102 was drawn.
Awards Dinner Streamed on Facebook
Photos of the Awards Dinner
Now in its 26th year, The DSA 2016 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.


Read interview with 2015 winner T Edwin Doss and learn about out other Grand Prize Winners❤ 
Did you miss the Awards Dinner? Here's a blow by blow courtesy of Dan Roark

1. Jessie Brown by T. Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
2. Real Love Next Time by Bonnie Warren, Philadelphia, PA
3. Aina Hanu by John Keawe, Kapaau, Hawaii


MC and GRAND PRIZE JUDGE,  ROY ELKINS, left us with extensive comments on the grand prize winners and more.

Hard Copy of Songwriters Notes Spring 2016 issue with 2015 winners 


 WINNER OF THE IPOD – Samuel Miller, Chico, CA


Click here for more info about this contest, and for more information about joining DSA (membership not required to enter contest). Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. 

2001 - 2007 Winners Compilation CDs available at the DSA store

All winning songs are on a CD Compilation that was given out at the Awards Ceremony. To get any 3 double CD's simply make a quarter note donation to DSA through our online store and send us an email to request which 3 years of Cd's you want us to mail you.


2. DSA MEETINGS - Guest Speaker, Cathy Baldwin and Song CritiquesTHURSDAY, JUNE 1
Music Publisher, Cathy Baldwin will talk about shopping your songs.
 Cathy Linda Baldwin is the owner of DaCat Music and Publishing. She has a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas where she studied both Classical and Jazz Guitar and Piano and Voice. She has written songs for a number of years and performed both originals and covers. She has had her songs cut by independent and major artists in the United States and abroad. Having spent a great deal of time in Nashville Cathy had the opportunity to write with Wil Nance (who has penned hits for George Strait and Brad Paisley as well as others) and Dan Demay (who has penned songs with Martina McBride and Tracy Lawerence…).

As a publisher she is constantly looking for songs for placement in advertising, television shows, movies, and commercials.

She spends a great deal of time developing songwriters and giving guidance on the music business. Prior to becoming a published writer Cathy taught privately for a number of years teaching students from age 3-78. She taught in Montessori schools and recreation centers as well. She has been a guest speaker for various songwriter organizations. One of the first things she always tells aspiring songwriters is to keep trying and not give up in their music.

The monthly meeting will continue to have the song critique session but the format will be a little different.  Instead of judging a "winning" song each month that is eligible for the "Song of the Year", all songs submitted at the meeting will be entered in the DSA Member Best Songs of the Meeting at the end of the year for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the year. We are considering adding a peoples choice awards.

Each song entry will receive friendly feedback from two music industry professionals, Joe Milton and Barbe McMillen.  Joe has been an LA touring musician, studio musician and songwriter and currently owns Jo Musik, a Dallas area music production company and studio that has done music for film and TV, voiceover and dialogue, plays, live shows, jingles, industrials and videos. Barbe is currently Associate Professor of Songwriting at Collin College and President Emeritus of the DSA.  She is also a voting member of the Recording Academy that votes for the Grammy Awards.  As a recording artist she has recorded five albums. She has written songs in all genres, including a musical called "Give Me Break".

Songs can be on a CD, or emailed to Harry Hewlett at, or performed live, or even mailed in (you don't have to be present) or members can enter online at  Just let him know if you want to get a spot at the meeting because we are limited on time and you must be a member to submit your song(s).  The song entry/critique fee is $10 for each song.  Preferred entry is online, so we can know how much time to allot to critiques, however, don't let that stop you, you can bring a recorded song to the meeting or just sing it at the meeting. Be sure to provide copies of lyrics for the group so they can give friendly feedback too. Good thing is that you can bring your song in for a pro critique and submit your rewritten or updated song at anytime during the year before the cut-off date. This is to encourage members to use the critique sessions during the editing phase of your song. You can have plenty of time for a re-write and re-submit.
Facebook Event page:
Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30

Future Meetings
July 1st - Rod Phelps - Half Price Books
Sept 1 - Rod Phelps

Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers   

April 2017 - Speaker Rod Phelps - Performance Rights Organizations Collect Money for Songwriters

March 21 · How to Market Your Songwriting Career with Booking Agent
Richard Pollack

February 3 · All About Publishing with Publisher Gus Wolman
Oct 2016 Barbara McMillen - Polishing Your Final Draft by Applying the Secrets of the Popular Song.

Sept 2016 Joe Milton on Preparing for a Recording Session

1 of 2
2 of 2

Reviews of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2015  Tirk Wilder
MONDAY SONG SWAPS for peer critique
Song Swap Workshop
Monthly 7:30-10 PM
Free, Visitors Welcome
Where songwriters perform their songs for peer review. Bring your guitar and a few lyric sheets. This is like an old fashioned guitar pull with comments between songs.

Tino's - Steve Sullivan, Gigi Gostas coordinating.
Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226

3. BEST SONGS of the Month - 

JAN - Love Without Money by Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen
         Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
         Your The Best by Michael Brandenberger 
FEB -  
        Caribbean Holiday by David Alan Claer
        Johnny's Place by Bill Kapac
        Mean Woman Grill by Morri Hartgrave
        Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
        Six Gun Sally by Bill Kapac
        Stay (Until The Sunrise) by Steve Valenzuela
        Storm (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
        The Days by Ireland Casteel
        When There Is Nothing (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
        You Made My Day by Michael Brandenberger

       Goodbye by Yulia Petrova
       Gypsy (Girl) King by James Pappas
       House On The Hill by Bill Kapac
       I Found Myself In Austin by Morri Hartgraves
       Island Red by Ricky Gene Wright
       Never by Ireland Casteel

DADDY GET YOUR GUN by James Pappas
MY MOM by Craig Langford
I Don't Need To But I Do by Craig Langford
EL PASO VFW by Morri Hartgraves
WAITING ON MY TIME by Rickey Gene Wright
Here is the list of 2016  winners of the meeting critiques from which the top three were chosen thanks to Judge, Mr. Troll, Poor Davids Pub.
2016 Winners & Finalists

Q&A With Winner, Dori Weaver, Song of the Year 2015 

Songwriter of the Year 2015 - 2016
is Rio King with the most wins at the meeting critiques
To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our Soundcloud page



(Each month DSA hosts 3 workshops at our monthly meetings on the 1st Monday, 3rd Monday and 2nd Tuesday these are ongoing. see item 2 above.)

How Music REALLY Works July 9-14, 2017
Learn the songwriting techniques of the master songwriters with best-selling author Wayne Chase. Learn how you can use these tools to craft great songs. Includes FREE library, books, music charts & more ($400 value).
Details Here

SongMatrix Retreat August 13-18, 2017
Hands on, in-depth exploration of your original songs using more than 40 specific SongMatrix musical & lyrical techniques. Create brilliant melodies and emotion-evoking lyrics. Includes 1-year post-retreat mentoring with SongMatrix author Wayne Chase.
Details here

Video of Susan Gibson performance at Sons of Hermann on April 22.
April 23
Want to study songwriting but don't want to get out of your PJ's?

* Take a class online through a songwriting workshop yahoo group with Barbara McMillen, associate professor of Songwriting and Music Business at Collin College.

* Check out the songwriter learning community.




HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
If you want peer feedback on a song bring a few lyric sheets

EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by  Craig St.Clair 
In November 2015, DSA celebrated 11 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

BURGER EDGE - North Dallas
EVERY 2ND WEDNESDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger and rotating guest host.
BURGER"S EDGE inRichardson
3rd Saturday 6:30 -8:30
7529 Campbell Rd. at Coit
This a perfect venue for an open mic because it has a nice stage with a complete sound system. It also has a great food menu if you want to come early to eat or invite friends who can enjoy a very tasty burger or chicken sandwich while they listen to you perform.  
Rotating host. Interested in hosting an open mic? email Michael.

3rd Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 Check out our facebook page where Harry is posting live streaming.
Hosted by Dan Roark
Other area open mics OPEN MICS

6. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked June 30

or by mail 2017 Winter in process of being judged


1. Cufflinks by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
2. Big Enough To Be Small by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
3. Still by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC


See Summer winners on the website:

2016 Spring Winners on the website: :

See winners from 2016 and 2015 listed in the DSA 2016 Fall Hardcopy of Songwriters Notes featuring winner, Bill Kapac on front page. This issue was handed out at the Arlington Guitar Show in October.

See Winter 2016 on website:


Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.



Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings of the DSA. We have committee positions open. Let us know if you'd like to be on the board. Just show up a our membership meeting.

Directors elected at our Nov 8th Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby MontgomeryDicky JohnsonRachel WilhelmDan RoarkBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Marcus Belmore, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas, Jessica Ewy, Rod Phelps, Milani Shaw and Harry Hewlett. New officers were elected at the planning meeting on Jan 7th. 

Newly Elected Officers 2017
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Secretary - Jessica Ewy
Dan Roark - Director of showcases, workshops
Barbe McMillen - Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/R
Milani Shaw - VP of Membership 
Gene Schillaci - Lyric Contest Director
Steve Sullivan and James Pappas - SongSwap Coordinators
Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Rachel Wilheim - Technology
Marcus Belmore - Executive VP, Webmaster

So long to Ginger Stanoiwho has moved to California and thanks for her service. We'll miss her.

If you are not a DSA Member, you missed these tips sent out through our yahoo group:

* Publisher looking for Childrens songs
* Artists/Producers looking for original material for recording artists
* Major Brand X (To be disclosed at a later time) Seeks Independent artist for music campaign.
* Where to get your cd reviewed
* Music related job listing
* Film Licensing Co. seeking instrumental music
* Cheap and free tickets - Free tickets to selected Winspear Opera House events.

Lyricists are invited to co-write with music writers by submitting your lyric through the member yahoo group.
NEW MEMBERS: Have you joined our member only yahoo group where you can talk with the group and get special offers and last minute updates on events? subscribe:

Patron Sponsor L3: Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker, John Stone
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi MorseJon JaggersRio King
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Ricky E Wright, Bianca Rodreguez, Stephen Valenzuela, Yulia Petrova, Jeff Stachowski, Charles Barrale, Jessica Ewy, Claude Webb, Kevin Brennan, Matt brent, Stephanie Sammons, Charles Leftwich, John Nelson, Rob Case
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Gene Schlacci, Jackie Schwartz, Aaron Shook, Ron Young, Rachel Wilheim, Julia Pauletti, Terry Bloss, Jeff Stachowshi, Raquel Linderman, Victoria Bouton, David Claerr, Jon Jaggers, Don Wall, Joe Milton, Harry Hewlett, Rio King, Morri Hartgraves, Barbara McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Randy Wallace, Ken Golden, Bill Honker, Carol Shaw, Cat McGee, Ian Dickson, Don Wall, Ken Duran, Malini Shah, Bill Sibley

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN MAY: Ted Pearce, Mark Evans, Tamara Stamps, Ray Baker, Timothy McGarity 
EXPIRED IN JUNE: John Thomas Lane
EXPIRED IN JULYMichael Franceus, Tom Prasado Rao, Crystal Taylor
EXPIRED IN AUGYanna Zovich, Minnie Murray, Warren Hanson

EXPIRED IN OCTDenise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, Darren Rozell, M'Lynn Musgrove, Stephen McKinnell, Jenni Peal, Jay Gallagher, Rick Webster
EXPIRED IN DEC: Michael Brandenberger, Buck Morgan, Ross Vick, Anthony Groom, Kathryn Taylor, David Morales, Ashley Sichler, Brad Davis, Scott White
EXPIRED IN JAN: Jeff Moxcey, Robin Carr, Andrew Plan, Cousin Don Brown, Tony Ramey, Lucia Comnes, Gracie Lott, James  Bennett, Rob Cariddi, Tyler Hook, Sarah Ashley, Christopher Hart, John Keawe, Katie Riley, Marc Tilson, Mathew Stemme, Patrice Luce Chapman, Clark McAlister, Ginger Stanoiu
EXPIRED IN FEBTrevor Dahlen, Anthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Helene Cronin, John Mason, Kathy Adams, Jim Collins
TIME TO RENEW: Alexis Tapp, Robin Dossey, Joe Austin, Wayne Talley, Loralee Pearman, Gigi Gostas, Allen Larson, Lynn McCracken
  Renew your membership online.
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right
Or paste this link in your browser:


8. EVENTS Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, and showcases.



1 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books 
DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
10 - John Ford Coley - solo  (Texas Tunes Series) 8pm
               He also gets a star on Denton's Arts Walk of Fame at noon that day!
14 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge 
15 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
19 DSA Song Swap at Tino's Too
17 DSA Showcase at Angelas

9 - Ronny Cox (Black Box Series) 6:30pm
22- DSA Hall of Fame Dinner and performance at Sons of Hermann Hall
and soon to be announced...
August 26 - Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros w/Susan Gibson
            (Texas Tunes Series Encore) 8pm

Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.

Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues.


9. Featured Articles:

By Andrew Hatch
Jim Croce is remembered as just another shooting star of the 70's, a simple folk-flavored singer-songwriter who made his mark with hits like "Time in a Bottle" and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" before flaming out as a footnote in the canon of musicians dead before their time. But that's not the whole story. Jim Croce was a singer-songwriter-storyteller, a born entertainer who both enraptured audiences and used music as a powerful introspective tool in his own life.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Will Dana
Four-hour documentaries about rock bands are nothing new — Bob DylanGeorge Harrison and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have all been the subjects of these visual equivalents of boxed sets. But the latest entry in the field is perhaps the most detailed yet: Amir Bar-Lev's "Long Strange Trip," (Trailer) an elegy for what that director calls the "most American of all rock bands," the Grateful Dead, and its ringmaster, Jerry GarciaContinue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Edward Morris
The Last Songwriter, a documentary that made its debut last week at the Nashville Film Festival, does not present quite as dire a picture as its title suggests. It does, however, chronicle many of the realities of songwriters working in the digital age. Both the debut and the second showing, which took place the following day, drew capacity crowds. And, at the festival's end, the film copped the Audience Award Winner prize. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Matt Ozug and Kelly McEvers
Rolling Stone magazine turns 50 this year, and co-founder Jann Wenner has written the foreword to a new book celebrating the anniversary. Wenner started Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967 with $7,500 of borrowed money, donated office space and some used typewriters. He was a 21-year-old Berkeley dropout who was into all the great music coming out in the year of the "Summer of Love" — and he wanted to create a magazine that took rock and roll seriously. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

From Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac to Oasis and Air, Pete Paphides enters the upside world of the pop B-side. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

According to Liam Hillery

By Allison Johnelle Boron

By Terry Walsh
Tired of seeing "unknown track" by "unnamed artist" on your favorite music player? We'll show you how to automatically identify, tag, and properly rename all your mystery tracks and albums to whip your music library into shape.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Angela Mastrogiacomo
What if you stopped thinking about networking as this big, scary, business-card-swapping event and instead, started treating it the same way you'd make friends? Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Brad Allen Williams
Every production and every song is unique, but the lead vocal is typically the part that most directly engages the average listener. The human voice, with all of its frailty, power, and expressive nuances, is a very strong communicator of feeling. As a species, much of our hard-wired empathy responds to the human voice, reading its complexity and emotional shading. It's primal. Not to mention, the vocal carries a heavy load — it delivers both the melody and lyric of the song. It's worth getting right! Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By J. D. Biersdorfer
Q. I want to transfer my music library out of iTunes. What is the easiest and most effective way to do this?  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Jhoni Jackson

By Jack Conte
Pomplamoose just finished a 28-day tour. We played 24 shows in 23 cities around the United States. It was awesome: Nataly crowd surfed for the first time ever, we sold just under $100,000 in tickets, and we got to rock out with people we love for a full month. We made $135,983 in total income for our tour. And we had $147,802 in expenses. We lost $11,819. How? Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Allison Johnelle Boron
If you've been doing this music thing for more than a minute, you've probably met a few music journalists along the way or have a shortlist of writers with whom you'd love to work. You also probably have a general idea about what they do and what they expect. But there are a few things you've likely never considered. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Billy Bones
Whether your band is planning a tour or releasing new music, chances are it's not going to be cheap. Brand sponsorship allows artists to do what they do best without worrying about the capital it will take to do so. Here are 9 steps to take when approaching a brand for sponsorship.   Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Andrew Flanagan
"The death of the MP3 was announced in a conference room in Erlangen, Germany, in the spring of 1995." ... But now, 22 years later, the MP3 truly is dead, according to the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits - the people who invented it, ... Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Ann-Derrick Gaillot
MP3s and streaming platforms replaced CDs, but what replaced liner notes? Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Soundfly Team
So many performing artists who write and perform their own works (singer/songwriters) miss out on tons of available royalty payments because they're not setting themselves up correctly to accept them Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Sam Friedman

By Daniel Matthews

Tips: How to Break into Video Game Music
Created by Chris Lines, Game Composer Advantage website provides articles full of practical advice to give people the best chance of landing clients and getting paid as a video game composer. Article areas such as pricing your services, negotiating, networking, making the most of your time and learning how to stand out in a crowded market are available.

By Dan Reifsnyder
When you mix a bunch of different people together, personality problems are bound to arise, whether it's in a band or a board room. But it doesn't have to be that way. No matter your role in your band, here are five ways to be a better bandmate.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Kelsey Klotz
Art Tatum once declared, "There's no such thing as a wrong note." Wrong notes in jazz are often considered to be opportunities for improvisatory exploration; a note is only wrong if the performer does not know what to do with it. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif
But, how do you play by the numbers?

By Rachelle Wilber
Musicians have a lot on their plates. Those plates are especially full during a performance schedule. These four tips will help you to stay safe and keep it all together while performing.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

This'll pump up your energy.

Record Digging
TEDTalk by Alexis Charpentier
For generations, record collectors have played a vital role in the preservation of musical and cultural heritage by "digging" for obscure music created by overlooked artists. These music "archeologists" are consumed by a desire to give these records a second chance at being heard and appreciated. ... Alexis Charpentier (DJ Lexis) is the founder of Music Is My Sanctuary, a website and collective dedicated to showcasing "future classics & forgotten treasures" to an audience of open-minded music lovers. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Charley Locke
Without the recording lathe, Willie Nelson would have never heard the Carter Family sing. Neither would Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash. These portable machines toured the country in the 1920s, visiting rural communities like Poor Valley, West Virginia, and introducing musicians like the Carter Family to new audiences. This remarkable technology forever changed how people discover and share music, yet it was almost lost to history until music legend T Bone Burnett and a few friends decided to bring it back.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Brad Allen Williams

By Laura Sydell
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the man who invented recorded sound — Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville. He beat the more well-known inventor Thomas Edison by 20 years, though his accomplishments were only recognized over the last decade. While the uses of recorded sound seem obvious now — music, news, voice messages — none of it was obvious to Scott or Edison when they made the first recordings. It's a story that has some lessons for today's aspiring inventors  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Mark Sutherland
So, how many people does it really take to write a hit? Music Week's analysis of the 2016 Top 100 Singles – as revealed first in yesterday's much-talked about Music Week front page story – reveals that nowadays, you need an average of 4.53 people to write the very biggest hits. To make the year-end Top 30, you needed to employ an average of 4.67 people. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Bob Barrick
Nobody is born a poet. Creative writing workshops are filled with aspiring Dickinsons and Whitmans suffering through the same mental blocks that musicians experience. These writing exercises can help you do something about it.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
10. Song and Talent Contests

 DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest
Next deadline - June 30th
Lonestar Songcrafters is having a performing songwriter contest every Sunday at the Texas Muscians Museum in Irving. 

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

Links to websites about songwriting, performance, music industry.

DSA Book Store - reviews, links, lists of recommended reading, and what's in the DSA Library.

12. Archives of Past Programs and Activities


Did you know???  DSA held two song contests for active military and the CDs of the winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vols. 1 and 2 are available.
Tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW at our Podomatic site:
You Know Me Tribute to Fallen
Read the latest story about this years winners

View past showcase performances and workshops on Crossroads Youtube.

DSA depends on your support.

Giving Rocks! While it never hurts to remind you that DSA is a non-profit organization (and so your contributions are tax-deductible) -  this year it means so much more. We're proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a non-profit. DSA has been an organized songwriter group since 1985 and became a non-profit in 1990.

Your gift
 enables us to meet our mission.

Our programs created to meet our mission goals are: a monthly newsletter, workshops, critique sessions, showcases, contests, networking opportunities and community service.
If you like what we do, and want to help us keep doing it, please make a contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and appreciated.
Donations are welcome year round. 
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.

  Barbara McMillen, Editor
  Songwriter Notes
  Founding President Emeritus,
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes

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